The 1.5" fluorescent tubular bulbs are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Effective July 14, 2012, manufacturers are no longer allowed to manufacture these light bulbs according to a federal mandate. Retailers will sell out of their current stock but no more will be brought in to replenish that stock. New construction homes, for the most part, have already put up fixtures that take the thinner and more energy efficient T-8 bulbs.
T-12 bulbs still account for roughly 1/3 of light bulb sales. Typically T-12 bulbs use about 40 watts of energy where a T-8 bulb uses only 32-watts of energy to produce the same amount of light. That doesn't sound like much but multiply that by how many hours the light is used and then multiply that by the number of fixtures throughout the country. It adds up.